MOBILE, Alabama — The USS Alabama is an ideal museum to visit.

The 80-year-old ship has interactive exhibits, stunning open views of the water and of course is a giant World War II battleship that can be explored.

It is located on the Mobile Bay about a two-hour drive west of the Fort Walton Beach area. It can be seen as you drive on Interstate 10 toward Mobile.

Visitors are greeted by static aircraft displays at the entrance to the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park.

The ship is hard to miss and is securely moored so visitors should not worry about floating away on their tour. A gift shop to purchase souvenirs and tickets is adjacent to the vessel.

Some lucky guests can stay overnight, sleeping on the actual bunks used by World War II sailors.

The Overnight Adventure is open to Boy Scout troops, Girl Scout troops and church groups.

The history of the battleship is as remarkable as its presence on the bay.

It began its World War II adventures in the North Atlantic in 1943, then later that year, went to the South Pacific seas where it fought in dozens of battles in the Phillipines, Okinawa and Luzon. It earned nine battle stars — commendations issued to United States Navy warships for meritorious participation in battle, or for having suffered damage during battle conditions.

The Battleship USS Alabama was dedicated and opened to the public on Jan. 9, 1965.

For more information visit